Post Colonial Narratives about Literature

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

This is an article on postcolonial narratives about literature.

Post-colonialism started with the liberation of colonies from the colonial yoke. Post-colonialism marked the death of colonial literature and the beginning of colonized literature.

This article seeks to examine the wounds and dents made by  the colonists on the liberated nations.

Firstly, post-colonial narratives speak of a wounded civilization. The colonists inflicted scars and wounds on the nations. These scars and wounds resulted in the uprooting of cultures and wounded the textures of these nations. Language of the colonizers replaced the language of the countries. Customs, morals, and values went on an ethos of change. Some of these changes have been positive and some negative. The positive changes manifested in the spread of English as a global language. The colonized nations saw the birth of pidgin and creole as new forms of English language. The negative aspects are the death of customs and cultures of the colonized nations.

The second aspect that I would like to focus upon is, the colonized nations used the very language of the colonizers to express freedom, liberation and independence.

There is the colonial narrative about a wounded civilization. Language became a vehicle for the ethos of cultural expression. Language became a saint of freedom. Language became a cultural exhibit of freedom in exorcism.

The third aspect that I would like to bring forth is a psychological one. I use the Jungian theory of archetypes. Archetypes are patterns found in culture and they are universal sense of meanings. The colonized nations bear the ethos of colonial archetypes which have overdid the native archetypes. The norms and values of the colonizers became predominant archetypes of the colonized world. Archetypes of the colonized and the colonizers clashed with each other. This gave place to the birth of new cultural archetypes.

The fourth aspect that I would like to focus upon is the beast of paradox. Now, what is the beast of Paradox? It is a situational irony prevalent in the colonized nations. It is the culture of psychotic expression. It is a wound that has found the fetish of recovery. It is passion found in ironic expression. It is a beautiful song of being wounded. It is a cultural calypso of cultural expression. The beast of paradox encompasses the birth of the longing of the nation to be free.

The fifth aspect that I would like to engage is the gaze. The gaze is the psychologist Lacan’s term. For him there are many gazes like the sexual gaze, the clinical gaze and so on. The colonizers gazed upon the colonies with the barbarism of psychological appropriation. This  is an evil gaze of civilization. But the story does not end here. The colonized gazed back at the colonizers with diffidence, with protests and they also used the gaze of affirmation to break loose from the colonizer’s cultural tyranny.

The sixth aspect that I would like to focus upon is the theology of deconstruction. Deconstruction is eruption of marginalization and privileges in a text and it was popularly brought forth by the philosopher Derrida. For the colonized, language became a machine of deconstructing the colonial narrative. Language cut open the wounds and scars that have been impinged by the colonists. Language freed the dependence of colonial nations into an oasis of becoming. Language became the fossil that was burnt through the recovery and re-appropriation. Language became a legacy of change.

The seventh aspect that I would like to gaze upon is the Philosopher Sartre’s being-in-itself. Being-in-itself is an idiom for reflective self-consciousness. The consciousness of the colonized nations became an avenue for social and cultural repercussions. Being-in-itself became an idea to transform the colonized nations into freedom and liberation. Being-in-itself became the tolerance of pacifism. Being-in-itself found new expressions of post-colonial ideologies.

To conclude, I would like to say, postcolonial narratives open up wounds and scars of the colonized nations. Postcolonial narratives are based narratively on wounded civilization, language, archetypes, beast of paradox, the gaze, and finally the concept of being-in-itself.


Submitted: April 23, 2021

© Copyright 2021 anand bose. All rights reserved.

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